Fahrenheit 451 and Gattaca

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Although Bradbury’s novel is about a time in the not-too distant future, Fahrenheit 451 closely reflects the composers concerns within the 1950’s. Bradbury replicates a number of recent historical events within the era, in which he based Fahrenheit 451 when he wrote and published the book. Central ideas of this period are imitated through the social control, conformity and government censorship illustrated within the text. While Bradbury writes about the sound of jet fighters crossing the sky in preparation for war in his novel, it closely resembles the era following World War II in the United States, which was known for its productivity, its affluence and its social conformity. Another major historical event that helps us understand Bradbury’s concerns of social concerns and conformity, is the book burnings of the Nazi regime in Germany during the 1930s, which had also been widely shown after World War II. These book burnings became a major symbol of the repression that followed in Nazi Germany. The importance of books and the freedom to read them was a central concern of liberal-minded people during the 1950s, and closely resembled in the book burnings and censorship reflected in Fahrenheit 451.

While Fahrenheit 451’s major concerns follow the imagined dystopian futures of the 1950s’s, Gattaca explores the composer’s ideas of future genetic manipulation. It represents a biopunk vision of a society driven by new eugenics. The movie draws on concerns over reproductive technologies, which facilitate eugenics, and the possible consequences of such technological developments for society. Genetics is what the society drives for, becoming the perfect human, creating the main form of social control through the government.
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